VSB Sustainability Conference: May 5, 2017

Before listening to the keynote speakers we decided to take a group photo with those in our Bio11 class that came to the conference. 

H: I personally enjoyed the conference because I had the opportunity to volunteer as a co-design artist to draw for youth and what my peers saw as their "ideal school" with sustainability elements laced in between. From what my co-design mentor had described, I expected nonsense answers, but to my surprise all the youth who had approached my table had amazing visions. I learned that if members of the community are catered to, and supported in an environment suited and generally personalize to them, those members will experience positive effects. I feel as though this conference was essential, for not only sustainability, but to gain community engagement and involvement. I hope I was able to capture their vision accurately since they had great ideas on how to improve our schools in a sustainable manner. 

J: At the VSB sustainability conference, I listened to a variety of keynote speakers who shared poems, stories, and advice on how certain human actives have taken negative tolls on our planet. I also attended workshops where a woman who owned a consignment store lead a very engaging discussion on smart, and sustainable fashion choices. The discussion lead me to further think about what brands I was supporting and the benefits of shopping second hand (give clothing a second life!). In the second workshop I attended, I learnt about how to create sustainable cities. The woman speaking gave a presentation on physical and human factors that make some cities more appealing than others. The workshop allowed me to work collaboratively and creatively with students more different schools as we designed our own sustainable cities. I also spoke to many NGOs, many of which revolved around animals and plants Ex. Saving bees, and researching/ observing porpoises. The most amazing thing about the conference is that it is entirely student run/organized!    

G: To start off the conference, we listened to keynote speakers in the auditorium. They provided their own insights about sustainability and how they got involved with sustainability. For my first workshop, I chose "The Future of Fashion". The the speaker was a woman who ran her own consignment store, which are great for giving clothing a second life. We discussed about everything from what we thought about when we got dressed in the morning to what factors we take into consideration before purchasing an item of clothing. It was eye-opening to hear the views of others and how they try to be sustainable in their daily lives. I learned more about the importance of thinking before buying and the effect of buying unsustainable. My second workshop was about sustainable cities. I was inspired to attend this workshop because we had discussed planning cities during biology class once. I learned about different factors that are taken into consideration while planning cities. We were put into groups where we collaborated to make a sustainable city. It was a very fun activity and an interesting experience to work with people I had never met before. After the workshops, we had lunch. We got the chance to speak with NGOs at this time. There was a wide spectrum of organizations there. I met some some people from the Environmental Youth Alliance, where I had done an internship late last year. I played a game of jeopardy with my friends and a man from Pacific Spirit Park. There was a raffle later which was for people who had completed the scavenger hunt and I won two tickets to the Vancouver Aquarium! The conference was a great learning experience and a wonderful chance to connect with fellow students!

R: Attending the VSBSC was greatly insightful and it was fun to see how many adolescents share the same initiative to create a better and safer future. The many workshops were very informative and the instructors definitely knew how to capture our attention and give us helpful tips.

E: At the VSBSC, I attended the Organizing Change and Personal Sustainability workshops. both were very engaging and educational. in the Organizing Change workshop, we discussed how to start up and maintain any sort of group; i.e. communication within leadership, strategies for team bonding etc. If there was anything else discussed in the workshop, i missed it due to an doctors appointment i had to leave for. Although i did return for lunch and my second workshop, Personal Sustainability. I initially thought that this workshop would focus on how to make personal changes in your life to help sustain the environment, but the workshop turned out to be focused sustaining yourself. Things like methods and techniques to ensure that you're a productive worker, signs of stress, time management etc. As always, the VSBSC was fun and educational!

To find out more about the VSB sustainability conference click here!